Recent Posts

Water Damage Types and Classes

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

person in rubber boots Water damage has several classes.

In the spirit of educating the south western Louisiana communities, SERVPRO of Lake Charles wants to make sure that you know what class of water you may encounter. 

The Classes of Water Damage Losses are determined by the rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected by water damage to your property. Determining the Class of Water is an important first step and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to restore your business. Here are four IICRC water damage classifications:

Class 1 - Slow Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permeance/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile or VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.

Class 2 - Fast Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12" - 24". There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, concrete).

Class 3 - Fastest Evaporation Rate
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations
These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspace). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.

Holiday Fire Preparedness Tips

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

stove fire Fire damage occurs most often during the winter months.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to educate the Lake Charles community of proper ways to protect your home or business against fire damage.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
  • Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on how to keep your home fire safe during the holidays.

5 Winter Safety Measures to Prevent Your Commercial Property from Freezing Pipes

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

frozen pipe image Water damage from frozen pipes can cause a major problem for your business.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles understands the importance of winterizing your business. The following steps are critical in avoiding water damage this winter.

1. Insulate all water pipes that run along the exterior of the building or those that are located in unheated interior spaces.
2. Inspect water pipes on a regular basis – look for any signs of small leaks or fatigue that could cause them to fail in a big way when the temperatures drop significantly.
3. Run water at a slow drip to relieve the pressure that can burst a pipe if you think it’s about to freeze.
4. Check all shutoff valves and levers to make sure they are in excellent working order.
5. Keep utilities on in vacant units. The cost of maintaining utilities in that unit will offset the cost of loss that could result from the lack of heat or water movement.

While these 5 winter safety measures can help avoiding a catastrophic pipe burst, the best thing you can do to minimize water damage is simply be prepared for the worst. What to do once you notice the frozen pipes? First, turn off the main water supply. If this is not possible, contact a plumber and explain that it is an emergency.

Same goes for water seeping from the ceiling and/or walls. Your emergency/safety measures should include the following: Shut down the power supply at the meter box and call an electrician immediately. Make every effort to protect documents, electronics and computers. Open doors and windows in the water damaged area to allow for drying and contact an emergency clean up service immediately. The sooner you have a professional disaster clean up team on site, the quicker and less expensive the cost to repair and prevent hazardous mold growth.

Facts About Winter Storms

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Van covered in ice Water damage and fire damage from winter storms can cause major issues to your home or business.

Winter storms can be a disaster for your home or business. To help avoid water damage or fire damage SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to educate the community of best practices.

A major winter storm can be lethal. Preparing for cold weather conditions and responding to them effectively can reduce the dangers caused by winter storms.

BEFORE

Be familiar with winter storm warning messages.
(See Winter Storm Watches and Warnings.)

Service snow removal equipment and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways and kitty litter to generate temporary traction.

Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.

Winterize your home.
  • Insulate walls and attic
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows 
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
Have safe emergency heating equipment available.
  • Fireplace with ample supply of wood 
  • Small, well-vented, wood, coal, or camp stove with fuel
  • Portable space heaters or kerosene heaters (See Kerosene Heaters.)
Install and check smoke detectors.

Contact your Parish Emergency Management Office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on winter storms.

Keep pipes from freezing.
  • Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers
  • Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture
  • Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing
  • Know how to shut off water valves.
Have disaster supplies on hand, in case the power goes out.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries 
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries. 
  • First aid kit 
  • One-week supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is shut off) 
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • One-week supply of essential prescription medications
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags 
  • Fire extinguisher (A-B-C type) 
Develop an emergency communication plan.
In case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm.
Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

Kerosene Heaters:
Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Use only the correct fuel for your unit and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Refuel outdoors only, and only when cool. Keep your kerosene heater at least 3 feet away from furniture and other flammable objects.

Tips to help prevent pipes from freezing

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

frozen pipe rupture Water damage can ruin you home or business this holiday season. Be proactive and learn the facts.

If you have suffered a water loss from a busted pipe then you know how difficult it can be. SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help prevent this type of water damage.

The three central causes of frozen pipes are quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low. You can prepare your home during the warmer months.

  • Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic, even if you live in a climate where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember, the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
  • Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers' installation and operation instructions.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you're asleep, but further drops in the temperature - more common overnight - could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

Thanksgiving fire safety tips

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

fire safety image Fire damage can ruin your holiday cheer.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles wants you to a safe holiday experience.

Top 10 safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Thanksgiving fire facts
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.
  • In 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.  

ERP: Emergency Ready Plan

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency ready plan graphic Whether you experience water damage, fire damage or mold damage an Emergency Ready plan can get you back to work quickly.

If you own a commercial property then you should be aware that having a good plan in place when a disaster strikes is crucial to getting up and running as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Lake Charles offers a free service called and Emergency Ready Plan (ERP). 

An ERP can provide important information pertaining to the systems that are necessary to run a business. This means knowing where your water shut off valves are or where your gas shut off valves are. Who to call if you experience water damage or fire damage. If your server room gets affected by a sudden and catastrophic loss who the IT company is that can respond quickly is valuable. 

Click here to learn more about our free assessment.

Fire Damage: Duct cleaning and odor control

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

duct cleaning results Duct cleaning can help with odor issues after you have experienced a fire in your home or business.

If you have experienced a fire in your home or business then you are well aware that odor issues can be quite persistent afterwards if it's not treated correctly. SERVPRO of Lake Charles understands this as well, which is why we make sure to find out if your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system was running during the fire.

If it was then you may qualify for a duct cleaning as part of the insurance claim that you will inevitably file. SERVPRO of Lake Charles uses state of the art duct cleaning equipment to dislodge and remove any particulates from within your duct runs. This includes carbon buildup that may have been the result of the fire damage. We also can use either ozone or hydroxyl systems to remove any lingering odors and finally deodorize the duct system with something to your liking.

If you need our help please do not hesitate to call.

Why SERVPRO? Because we use the best equipment!

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles employee using a hepa filtered vacuum on a commercial grade air filter to aid in duct cleaning. SERVPRO of Lake Charles employee using a hepa filtered vacuum on a commercial grade air filter to aid in the duct cleaning process.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles does a lot of commercial duct cleaning and in doing such, are expected to bring the best equipment. From rotary duct brushes to vacuums with hepa filters we understand that great results are generated from great operation combined with great equipment.

In this photo we see SERVPRO of Lake Charles cleaning a hospital air filter. Using a hepa filtered back pack vacuum we are able to suck up all loss particulates up to .3 microns (very small). This process is a necessary component of duct cleaning since it insures that the commercial grade filters last longer.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help. As a leader in our community we take great pride in making sure that your trust in us is not misplaced.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles Policy

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

An alarm clock that says 24/7. SERVPRO of Lake Charles is available 24/7/365.

Keep Calm...

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is always here for you in your time of need. We have the training and experience needed to get you through any size disaster. We know that when the unexpected happens, you need someone you can rely on and trust for help. An immediate response is a crucial part in getting things back to, Like it never even happened.

Our Service Policy ensures that we:

  • Contact you within 1 hour from the first notice of loss, to arrange for service.
  • Are on-site to begin mitigation services within 4 hours of notification.
  • Provide verbal and possibly written briefing of services needed within 8 hours of on-site arrival.

Call SERVPRO...

If a disaster occurs, we are always here for you! Call us 24/7/365 at (337) 478-1133.

Please note: Exceptions to our service response times may apply if a storm event occurs.